NEWS

End of OpenOffice?

Apache OpenOffice Vice President Dennis Hamilton sent an email on September 1, 2016, inquiring about the fate of Apache OpenOffice. Hamilton wrote that "the Apache OpenOffice project has limited capacity for sustaining the project in an energetic manner."

The dearth of developers and interest in OpenOffice came about because a majority of OpenOffice developers moved to LibreOffice, a fork of OpenOffice under the governance of The Document Foundation.

Retiring the project is now a possibility. Hamilton wrote in the email, "I cannot make a prediction how this will all work out. It is remiss of me not to point out that retirement of the project is a serious possibility."

Opera's Password Sync Service Compromised

Opera Software has reported a security breach that compromised Opera Sync Service, the password manager for the Opera web browser. Opera has more than 350 million users and approximate 1.7 million people are using Opera Sync Service.

To its credit, Opera Software acted swiftly and notified its users of the breach by email. The company said in the blog post, "although we only store encrypted (for synchronized passwords) or hashed and salted (for authentication) passwords in this system, we have reset all the Opera Sync account passwords as a precaution."

Opera Sync users are also advised to change the passwords of third-party services, such as email, that they used on the browser, because this information might have been stored on the Opera cloud and therefore could have been compromised.

Password managers are used by web browsers to make it easy for users to store usernames, account information, and passwords on the cloud. All major browsers, including Google Chrome, Firefox, and Apple Safari offer such features. However, unlike Chrome and Safari, Opera Sync doesn't offer the additional security of two-factor authentication.

Is Google Working on a New Operating System?

Google is reportedly working on a new operating system that is not based on Linux. The company hasn't made an official announcement yet; however, the source code is already available on GitHub.

The project is named Fuchsia OS. According to the GitHub page, "Magenta is the core platform that powers the Fuchsia OS." Magenta comprises a microkernel and a small set of userspace services, drivers, and libraries required by the system.

Magenta is targeting modern phones as well as desktop PCs. The kernel used in it is capable of running in really small systems such as embedded devices.

The GitHub pages say that LK (Little Kernel) "is a kernel designed for small systems typically used in embedded applications. It is good alternative to commercial offerings like FreeRTOS or ThreadX. Such systems often have a very limited amount of ram, a fixed set of peripherals and a bounded set of tasks."

Google works on many projects, which may or may not translate into products. Fuchsia OS could just be another experiment or it might replace Android or Chrome OS as a single OS to run across devices, including phones, PCs, and embedded systems like Onehub and Google Home.

More Online

Off the Beat -- Bruce Byfield

OpenOffice: A Project in Search of an Exit Strategy

In theory, I should be all over the story about Apache OpenOffice's struggle for survival. Over the years, I have written dozens of articles about OpenOffice.org, OpenOffice, and LibreOffice. Yet now as OpenOffice tries to revive itself, my main thought is: Could someone please put OpenOffice out of its misery?

LibreOffice's Legacy Debt

LibreOffice has had so many changes of name that its age is hidden. However, go back through Oracle OpenOffice and OpenOffice.org, StarOffice, StarDivision and StarWriter, and the word processor is over 30 years old. Probably, very little of the code written in 1985 remains in use, but many of the features do – and that means that LibreOffice is carrying a legacy code debt that is becoming increasingly irrelevant.

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Every now and then I need to extract individual pages from PDF files. Recently, I stumbled upon a handy Bash script that generates a simple graphical interface for extracting pages from a PDF file.

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Let the Editor Wars Begin! -- Jeff Layton

Editors, particularly command-line editors, are an important tool for high-performance computing systems administrators. We point out some editor options with little to no bloodshed.

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Swagger and OpenAPI Specification for documents -- Tim Schurmann

A REST API is especially useful for a developer if the API provider extensively documents the methods used. The Swagger tools not only semiautomatically generate an API reference, but a matching client SDK for many programming languages, as well.

The Practical Benefits of Network Namespaces -- Paul Thompson

With network namespaces, you can create very sophisticated and resource-saving setups using the tools inside a running Linux system – without the use of containers.

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